Counting stars with Gaia - annotated image
This image, based on housekeeping data from ESA's Gaia satellite, portrays the outline of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and of its neighbouring Magellanic Clouds. It was obtained by plotting the total number of stars crossing Gaia's focal plane per second - this is a measure of the density of stars in the region that is being scanned.
Credits: ESA/Gaia-CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Acknowledgement: this image was prepared by Edmund Serpell, a Gaia Operations Engineer working in the Mission Operations Centre at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany